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Minister of Education Chris Hipkins. Photo / Jed Bradley
Schools and kura in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland will receive an extra $223 per pupil under a new Equity Index that kicks in next year.
The country’s 2500 schools this morning are discovering how much more money they will receive under the new index, which replaces the decile system.
A funding boost of $75 million and revised criteria using the latest statistics will see 90 per cent of schools receive a boost in funding, with nearly 1000 seeing a greater than 10 per cent increase.
However, about 250 schools at the other end will have to make do with the same or slightly less funding.
Schools and kura in Auckland will receive an average increase of $6.25 extra per pupil.
Decile rankings were based on five factors from the Census: low household income; low-skill parental occupations; household crowding; parents with no educational qualifications; and parents receiving income support.
However, they over time were considered a “blunt” determinant, wrongly seen as a marker of school quality, out-of-date and had too few bands.
They were also seen to increase the stigma and stereotyping of schools.
The new Equity Index uses 37 socioeconomic measures that are associated with poor education outcomes. These include factors such as a parent in prison or a youth justice notification, as well as parents’ income and benefit history.
The indicators are measured for individual children from a Stats NZ database. The results are anonymised and averaged over the students in each school for the past three years to give the school an Equity Index score. Index numbers range from 344 to 569, giving 225 possible scores.
At the same time, the amount being allocated for equity funding was increased from $161m to $240m, which will still be under 4 per cent of total school funding.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the index uses better data to give a better picture of which students needed extra resources.
“Because of that we’re able to invest more in the right places.”
Schools in South Auckland will receive on average $525.47 per pupil after the changes, representing an average increase of $70.47.
This compares to schools in the north of Auckland which will receive on average $60.77 per pupil for an average increase of $16.60.
The Government was also increasing the amount of money contributed through the school donations policy, as well as expanding the number of schools that were eligible, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti said.
School donations will increase from $150 to $154.13 per student in 2023. Combined with the expansion in eligibility, this will see $9.3m in extra funding next year.
If those schools and kura joined the scheme the families and whānau of around 47,000 young people at 155 schools would no longer be asked for donations, Tinetti said.
Schools and kura with an EQI number of 432 and above will be eligible to join the School Donations Scheme.
The changes in the Equity Index would also see a further 24 schools and kura invited to join the Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme, supporting about 3000 children.
More broadly, schools receive funding for teacher salaries and operating expenses based on the number and ages of children, and school type.
The vast bulk, $6.4 billion, or 97 per cent, is not affected by any measures of socioeconomic status or educational disadvantage.
The decile system was introduced in 1995. Along with issues around the measures used, the data was very out of date. The socio-economic ranking came from the 2013 Census, and isolation index from the 2001 Census.
It was reviewed every five years, while the new index will be reviewed annually.
Public servants, consultants, and various advisory groups had been working on the new index since 2016 when former Education Minister Hekia Parata announced deciles would go.
The resulting Equity Index was due to be in place in 2021 but is now scheduled to apply from January 2023.